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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #3

Because 364 just won’t do.

Today we honor the work and career of another comic master. Can you guess who it is?


3. Will Eisner

Today marks the second anniversary of Will Eisner’s death. Call it synchronicity if you like– I only just discovered that now, while doing the requisite research and image-searching for today’s entry.

Like Kirby and Lee, the two men we’ve covered so far this week, Eisner was a titan in comics. He defined comics as sequential art. He popularized the graphic novel. He mastered the art of the splash page. He continued to work up till his death. There’s a reason the Oscars of the comics industry are named after him.

He also gave us The Spirit, a favorite mystery man character and a channel through which to experiment with what could be done with comics. After all, they’re just words and pictures on a page. The possibilities are endless, and Eisner saw that.

I’ll admit, I haven’t read much of Eisner’s work, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen his influence in the works of many others. What I have read– a scant few Spirit stories and a few other miscellaneous things– was brilliant. Eisner was a master of the comics form. He may be gone, but his spirit– and The Spirit– live on.

What are your favorite Eisner-related memories?


I discovered Eisner by by reading DC’s Best of the Spirit book and I was immediately enthralled. What really made me admire him, though, was reading the book “Eisner/Miller” which I bought from the CBLDF folks at Wizard World. It’s just a transcription of Frank Miller talking with Eisner; it was truly a great book and I recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about this comics master.

His book ‘Shop Talk’ blew my mind each time I’ve read it.

Pirate comics are the best comics.

Eisner’s Hawks of the Sea is the best Pirate comic ever.

And he might be the most humanistic writer ever. Every character in every Eisner story since ’45 is relatable, and has a worthwhile point of view. Eisner makes all his characters matter.

There’s something special when reading Eisner’s Spirit. You get a little smile on your face and you get a brilliant story. I first came in to Eisner’s radar in the mid 80s picking up back issues of the Kitchen Sink Spirit and Spirit Jam magazines. Been hooked ever since.

3 for 3, Bee-Cee. Good job.

“I’ll admit, I haven’t read much of Eisner’s work”

I shouldn’t have to say it, man, but what the hell. The stuff’s not hard to find- read as much of it as you can get hold of, and the latest multi part crossover non-event be damned!

Also, read “Comics And Sequential Art”. Everybody should.

I’m worried about the future of this enterprise, though/

# 344: That one guy who colored Spectacular Spider-man 126.

# 345: Ancient Egyptians.

# 346: My dog. Cute, and hasn’t actually peed on my comics lately.

Hey, Mark, George Roussos was a great colorist! So maybe he will be 344.

It won’t be all people, though. Or all characters, or things, or titles. It’ll probably be whatever strikes my fancy. And it’ll be fun when I get really desperate for something.

I just finished Eisner/Miller. Amazing book.

I just finished Eisner/Miller. Amazing book.

It really was excellent.

3 for 3, Bee-Cee. Good job.

Bee-Arr, in this instance. ;)

Bee-Arr, in this instance. ;)

Bear is driving blog! How can this be?

Today I am truly ultra-nerdy.

Anyone in New York should check out Eisner’s stuff (along with Kirby, Crumb, Ware, etc, etc) at the Masters of American Comics exhibit at the Jewish Museum (and there’s more at the Newark Museum). It’s great to see the original work.

Just in case you hadn’t heard.

My favorite Eisner memory was at San Diego in 99 or was it 2000? Not sure but anyway it was the year that DC announced that they were going to be publishing the Spirit Archives. I ran into Will and his wife who were roaming the floor. I walked right up and shook his hand and told him thank you for all the great comics. It is one of my favorite con moments and I am glad that I had a chance to meet him.

The Kirbydotter

March 9, 2007 at 12:10 pm

He’s one of the Grand Masters of the artform alright.

Should have been number 2, right after Kirby instead of Stan Lee.

Stan Lee is basically early Marvel Age.
That’s it. That’s the extend of his mark on the medium.

Eisner is almost at the birth of the Golden Age.
He’s the Spirit.
He’s the first to see the artform as an educational tool.
He’s the first true graphic-novelist.
He’s a major influence for so many artists that followed him.
He’s the theorician with his Sequential Art books.

Contract With God. The Spirit. John Law. The man is the greatest creator in comics history.

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